Chemical plant restarting after October coal gas explosions

December 28, 2017

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — A company says its chemical plant in Tennessee is mechanically complete after two coal gas explosions happened there months before.

Eastman Chemical also says in the Wednesday statement that the Kingsport plant is in the process of restarting. The company had said the October 4 explosions resulted from what it called “a process upset.” There weren’t injuries beyond minor first aid.

Eastman senior vice president Mark Cox says he’s confident the appropriate corrective actions were taken to ensure the highest safety standard as the company resumes normal operation.

Eastman expects full production of acetyls chemicals and derivatives to be enabled in early 2018.

The incident happened on the anniversary of an Oct. 4, 1960, explosion and fire at Tennessee Eastman Co.’s Aniline factory that killed 16 people and injured 400 others.

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